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The Poison Throne is a gripping adventure tale with elements of fantasy, mystery and romance. I loved the writing, from the vivid descriptions of court life to the inner conflict of the characters. There are no simple characters here, we see a dark side to nearly everyone, as well as their struggle to overcome it. The young heroine Wynter is intelligent and brave, but also shows emotion and vulnerability, like most teenagers.
The relationships between characters are explored in depth, and although the plot centers on epic power struggles, the story also touches on themes of family, identity, race, and gender roles. No punches are pulled, and the emotion gets quite intense at times. (There is also some violence and torture that may deter the squeamish.)
This is a book that challenges the listener, but I found it very rewarding. It also has plenty of humor, as well as scenes of unbridled joy. The narration is superb, and hits every emotional note with authenticity. I’m looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.
I was looking for a good series, and this one was pretty highly rated. I found it slow. It could have benefited from a good editor tightening it up. I heard too much of Winter's angst to find her admirable. She dithers too much. But most disappointing was the end of the story, which really reads like the end of a chapter. No closure whatsoever, and too many details left hanging. This, even in a series, is unforgivable.